leaving the enemy to the care of the smaller part, as in his march to Savannah
, on the contrary, thought the movement proposed by General Sherman
‘extra hazardous,’ as Sherman
says in his ‘Memoirs’ (Vol.
II, page 106). I did not regard either of them as very hazardous, and upon consideration rather preferred General Sherman
's, because I thought it could not fail to be decisive of the capture of Atlanta
, while the other might fail if not executed with promptness and vigor, and this, experience had warned us, we could not be quite sure of.
Some tine after the war, that very able commander General Joseph E. Johnston
told me that in his judgment Sherman
's operations in Hood
's rear ought not to have caused the evacuation of Atlanta
; that he (Johnston
), when in command, had anticipated such a movement, and had prepared, or intended to prepare, to oppose it by constructing artillery redoubts at all suitable points in the rear of Atlanta
, as well as in front, which redoubts could be very speedily connected by infantry intrenchments whenever necessary; that he aimed to keep on hand in Atlanta
at all times supplies enough to last him longer than Sherman
's army could subsist on the contents of their wagons and haversacks; and that Sherman
could not possibly hold all the railroads leading into Atlanta at the same time
, nor destroy any one of them so thoroughly that it could not be repaired in time to replenish Johnston
's supplies in Atlanta
Here is presented a question well worthy of the careful study of military critics.
Whatever may be the final judgment upon that question, it seems perfectly clear that Johnston
's plan of defense ought at least to have been tried by his successor.
had kept all his troops in compact order about Atlanta
, he would have been in the best possible condition to resist Sherman
if the latter turned back from Jonesboroa
and attacked Atlanta